Wednesday, September 13, 2017

2017 Walk to End Alzheimer's

My Mom
Hello, all! I'm participating in this year's Walk to End Alzheimer's and asking for your support.

My mom, Pat, and my father-in-law, Jerry, both suffer from this brutal disease. The Walk to End Alzheimer's is my small way of fighting back.

Our local walk is on October 7th, 2017.

CLICK HERE to donate now. You'll be taken to my Donation Page.

Please donate what you can to support the efforts of the Alzheimer's Association. Any amount will help.

Thank you for joining the fight!

Roger

Saturday, September 9, 2017

GHOST STAR: Kindle Scout Campaign Update

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/K0R7BME788ZC 


My heartfelt thanks to everyone who has already nominated GHOST STAR for publication on Amazon. So far, so good -- at least as far as I can tell. 
 
Kindle Scout doesn't tell you how many actual nominations your book has received, but they do give you a little bit of info. With fifteen days left in the campaign, GHOST STAR has spent 169 hours on the "Hot and Trending" list and has received roughly 2.5k views on its page. I hope most of those views were also nominations!

For those who haven't nominated GHOST STAR and wouldn't mind doing so, please follow the link and vote today. It's free to vote and if my book is approved, you'll get a FREE Kindle copy. Thanks!
 
https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/K0R7BME788ZC

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Call To Action: Please Nominate My Book for Publication by Amazon's Kindle Scout

Here are three steps you can follow to earn this author's undying gratitude:
  • Step One: Follow THIS LINK to Kindle Scout. 
  • Step Two: Log in to your Amazon account.
  • Step Three: Nominate Ghost Star, my new YA Sci-Fi novel, for publication by Amazon.
It's just that simple! Seriously though, I know this kind of stuff can be a pain, but, in this case, there really isn't much more to it than the steps I just listed.

It's free to vote and only costs a little bit of your time.

The Backstory: I recently completed the manuscript for Ghost Star and decided to give Amazon's Kindle Scout program a try. How it works is that you submit your previously unpublished novel and support materials--book cover, description, etc.--and, after a review, they assign you a "campaign."

My Kindle Scout campaign for Ghost Star will launch on August 26, 2017 12:00 AM EDT and end on September 25, 2017 12:00 AM EDT.

During that time frame, it's the author's job to get as many of his supporters to "nominate" the book for publication as possible. Here's why:
  
"The more nominations your book receives the more likely it will get the attention of our Kindle Scout team and be selected for publication."

Pretty straightforward, right?

The bottom line is that it would be really cool if you would nominate my book.

Thank you!
Roger

BONUS STEP:
  • Step Four: Ask your friends and family who might be up for this kind of thing to vote for Ghost Star, too. Thanks!
Raw link to campaign:  https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/K0R7BME788ZC

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Cover Reveal: Ghost Star (A Sci-Fi Adventure)

Hey! Here's the cover for Ghost Star, my new YA Sci-Fi novel! Isn't it cool?

Amazon is launching a Kindle Scout campaign for Ghost Star this Saturday, 8/26.

That means you folks will have an opportunity to nominate Ghost Star for publication, and I really really hope you do.

I'll post more details and a link to the campaign page on Saturday.

If Ghost Star gets picked, I'll get a modest advance and my book will be published by Amazon! If you nominate the book and it gets picked, I'll be eternally grateful, and you'll get a free Kindle copy.

In the meantime, how about that cover? Isn't it cool?


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Best Gaming News I've Heard in Years!

I love, correction, LOVE the Age of Empires pc game franchise! Launched some 20 years ago by Microsoft Studios, I've purchased and played every single edition of this incredible RTS (Real Time Strategy) game from the very beginning. From the original Age of Empires through Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings, Age of Mythology, and Age of Empires III--I've played them all plus their Expansion Packs.

Well... Imagine my delight upon hearing that not only is Microsoft going to bring back a fully updated version of the original, but they've also begun work on a completely new AOE game, Age of Empires IV!

The original Age of Empires was designed for Windows 95 and, as far as I'm concerned, has been unplayable (technically-speaking) for many a year. This new updated version is for Windows 10 and will be released on October 19, 2017. Here's the trailer for the remastered Age of Empires: Definitive Edition:




How cool is that? If you were a fan of the AOE series, you've got to be pleased with this new development.

As if that wasn't enough, Microsoft Studios and Relic Entertainment have announced they're developing Age of Empires IV! As you'll see in the "Announce Trailer" below, details are a little sparse. In fact, all of the artwork is from previous editions of the game. Why? My clever deduction is that they're still very early in the development process and don't have anything to show yet. If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say they're going to advance the timeline up into the modern era as that's what they've done with all of the previous installments--advance the ages with each new release. WWI and WWII? Who knows? Everything is conjecture at this point.



Anyway...both of these announcements are so cool! Can I get a yay? YAY!!!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Call For Employment

The writing for Treehouse Detectives, the fun animated show I've been working on, is close to wrapping. Our mystery-solving brother and sister bears are coming to Netflix soon and should be a big hit with the preschool crowd.

In the meantime, I need work. Thanks!

#animationguild #sagaftra #bbqpitmaster

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Adam Savage Incognito as King Arthur at Comic-Con 2017

How cool is this?! Definitely checking out the full episode.

From the video description:  "Adam fulfills his lifelong dream of becoming King Arthur from the film Excalibur at San Diego Comic-Con! This year's costume is a full suit of armor from Excalibur, made by legendary armorer Terry English who made all the armor for the film. Adam spent over a week at Terry's shop assisting with this build, culminating in this beautiful shiny suit that's surprisingly comfortable to move in! Shot and edited by Gunther Kirsch"

Sunday, July 9, 2017

'The Flintstones' Theme Song - Postmodern Jukebox

An old favorite retro-updated!

p.s. See if you can guess the name of the other show's theme song slipped in toward the end.


Saturday, July 1, 2017

indieBRAG 2017 Cover Contest: Please Vote for Dragonfriend's Cover



I think my cover for Dragonfriend is a fine cover. 

The good folks at indieBrag do too and nominated it as a finalist in their 2017 cover contest. 

If you agree with our assessment of Dragonfriend's cover, please go to the indieBrag site and vote for it in two categories: Middle Grade/Young Adult AND Overall Favorite. Just scroll through the genres and vote along the way in other categories like Sci-Fi and Historical Fiction. 

After you've voted for Dragonfriend (2X!) and reach the end of the genre nominees, press "Finish Submission." 

They'll ask you to sign up for their mailing list and I recommend that you do since their site's an excellent resource for finding quality indie books like Dragonfriend!

Here's the LINK.

Thank you for your support!

Roger

Friday, June 30, 2017

Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz

"Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz": I wrote for this fun show last year. It just started airing on Boomerang's streaming service so check it out! #otherwriting

Sunday, June 25, 2017

DRAGONFRIEND: indieBRAG 2017 Cover Contest Finalist!

The cover for Dragonfriend was nominated as a finalist in the first annual "indieBRAG 2017 Cover Contest." Yay! You may recall this is the same organization that awarded their medallion to Dragonfriend a few years back. So this is pretty cool. Contest voting will be open to fans and readers starting on July 1st. I'll post a link to the indieBRAG site on that date. Then, if you are so inclined, you can go and vote for my book's cover!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Sci-Fi Novel Update

After receiving some wise counsel from several of my author pals, I've decided to go the Kindle Scout route with my space opera novel. As my friends pointed out, the concern about "having to do a lot of promotion" to get people to nominate my book is a hollow one. I was reminded that even traditionally-published authors have to self-promote like crazy these days (unless they're already big name authors or celebrities) and self-published authors definitely have to do that. The consensus: if I was fortunate enough to get a publishing contract with Kindle Press, it wouldn't be so bad to have Amazon as a marketing ally. In other words, worth the effort.

So...

Sci-Fi Wallpaper from Fond Décran (not my cover art, but cool nonetheless)
To get things just right, I'm in the middle of a heavy-duty polish edit of the manuscript. I lopped off the first chapter to get things moving right away and am currently involved in the somewhat tricky process of seeding anything of importance from the former Chapter One into the rest of the book. Somewhat tricky, but also fun in a jigsaw puzzle kind of way. I'm also doing a chapter-by-chapter edit for continuity and overall readability. At the end of the above edit I'll go through everything one more time by having MS Word read my words back to me in its quirky Text To Speech voice (I use "David" because he sounds like an authoritative robot 😉).

Then...

I'll get everything together--manuscript, cover, logline, brief summary, etc.--and submit it to the folks at Kindle Press. At this point, the self-promoting (begging) will begin in earnest, and for thirty days I'll be promoting  the link to my "Kindle Scout campaign page" and asking friends, family, and interested parties to go there and nominate my book for publication (free and easy, all you need is an Amazon account). Expect this to happen within the next week or so.

On a related note: I commissioned a super-cool cover for my book and I'm very much looking forward to showing it to everyone when my campaign launches. See ya soon!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

10000 chickens vs. 20 T-Rexes

Not sure if authentic physical and behavioral species characteristics are at play here (I'm pretty sure chickens don't explode, right?), but this does serve as an amusing exercise in "what if" theory.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

My Space Opera Novel: What Should I Do Next?

Spaceship concept art by Viktor Titov
Okay, here's the deal. A little over a year ago I finished my YA space opera, had my trusted beta-readers help me pummel it into shape, then had it professionally proofread. I was all set to commission a cover and self-publish when a good friend of mine (who's very cool and also happens to be an author) asked if I'd be interested in a referral to the "Well-Respected Literary Agency" (not the agency's real name). "Heck, yeah!" sez me. I submitted my first chapter to the WRLA and politely waited for word on whether or not they were interested in reading the full manuscript.

They were not. Seven months later I get a "Thanks, but no thanks." email. Disappointing, but not wholly unexpected. Ultimately, I'm fine with it, only wishing they would've made their decision sooner.

So...here I am back at square one. I've got a novel that's close to being ready (I want to go through it one more time just for giggles), but now face some additional possibilities that occurred to me while waiting for the WRLA's decision.

Basically, I'm stuck in an indecision loop and am asking for your help to break out of it.

My options:
  • Proceed as originally planned. Commission e-book and paperback covers, then self-publish.
  • Submit manuscript to Amazon's Kindle Scout program. This is an option that requires minimal "documentation" and an e-book cover (supplied by the author). The idea is that the author submits a manuscript/cover and, if accepted, a "campaign" is launched wherein readers nominate the book for publication.  At the end of a successful campaign (45 days or less), "a publishing contract with Kindle Press" is issued. Paperback rights are retained by the author and a modest advance is awarded. The downside is that I think you have to have A LOT of readers nominate your book to get a contract. The amount of self-promotion required during this campaign has to be staggering.
  • Submit manuscript to TOR Forge. This publisher is one of a very few that has an open submissions policy, meaning you don't need an agent. That and the bonus of having the support of a real live publisher are the upside. The downside is that they are understandably awash in submissions and, unlike Kindle Scout, there's a fair amount of documentation that has to generated--full synopsis, cover letter--all paper, no digital submissions accepted. Then there's this: "If you do not receive a reply after six months, please resubmit. It’s likely that your project or our response disappeared in transit." Whaaat? Not sure if I can hold it together for another 6 months of waiting for a response that may or may not come. Am I being too impatient?
  • Query more literary agents. This one's purposely placed at the bottom of the list because I don't want to go through what will no doubt be multiple rounds of WRLA-style waiting. Is this unrealistic of me?
Anyhoo...that's where I am at this point. What should I do next? Let me know what you think of the above options and if any one of them is clearly superior to the others, or if you're able to see a positive aspect of an option that isn't currently clear to me. I'm also open to new suggestions.  Thank you in advance for your wise counsel. :)